Friday, October 28, 2005

Musical Thoughts

I haven't written about what I've been listening to lately and since I've been listening to some very different things lately, I thought I'd provide some recommendations. And yes, I'm putting my reputation on the line by encouraging you to listen (and perhaps even buy!) this music ;)

In the "Most Spinned" category is The Bravery. I first heard about these guys on New Year's Eve last year as one of the DJs on Live105 was spinning some tracks by artists he though would break out during 2005. I loved the track he played at the time, but it took me a while to remember the name. So it was at least March or April before I even listened to it again. Well, I'm glad I found the info since I've been listening to this album at least once a week for the past 3 or 4 months. If I had the CD, I'm sure it would be all worn out by now! Thank heavens for digital music ;) So what's The Bravery like? Well, they're definitely part of the 80's throwback crowd like The Killers, but The Bravery seem to do it much better. They seem less conscious about trying to sound 80s-ish and in my opinion, just have a better sound. Their tracks are a bit more dance-y than Franz Ferdinand or The Killers and that be part of the reason I like the sound - it gets my energy going. But here's the odd thing...they also remind my of Joy Division. In fact, when the Live105 DJ was introducing the band last year, he referenced Joy Division and how The Bravery were one of the few bands who could harken back to them without sounding like rip-offs.

Anyways, the album is great from beginning to end. There's an amazing remix of "Honest Mistake" which really harkens back to 80's 12" remixes building up sounds, then breaking them down, and then back up. Great stuff all round. Give it a whirl.

Next album to throw in the cart would be M.I.A.'s Arular. I won't go into the love affair that Sepia Mutiny has with her. Not to say that she doesn't deserve it, but there's no need for me to rehash it all. Anyways, M.I.A. caught my attention first simply because there was buzz about some South Asian chick. I don't normally follow-up on this buzz since there's only a small chance of anything coming of the buzz. In this case, however, I actually liked her first single and decided to give her a chance. I've since listened to her album and have found it to be very listenable. Now, let me say that many people will not like her music simply because of the genre. I don't know if it's official or anything, but I would place M.I.A. in UK-garage. It's a genre which I like, but it's something that many people wouldn't ever want to listen to.

So anyways, it's a good listen. The buzz about her seems to be growing and it's well deserved. Some random examples about growing buzz: she's opening for Gwen Stefani on part of her concert tour and she's got "Galang" playing during a Honda Civic ad.

I may post a little more about music I've been listen to lately, but for now, you should have some fun with these two albums.


Anonymous said...

I had listend to M.I.A. on BBC Asian and loved her too. I didn't hear anything more on her, but then all of a sudden, she was on soo many of the websites...I was wondering whether to buy her album as I've been disappointed by some other South Asian artists albums. Thanks to your review, I may buy the album.

Jigar said...

MIA may be South Asian, but she's definitely not of the pop variety. Ya, she's become very popular, but not because she positioned her music that way. So in that sense, her album is very different than much of what you're prolly bought and been disappointed by.